Teaching assistants provide support to teachers and are often tasked with delivering specialised support to students. In addition, the teaching assistant has the important role of helping to maintain discipline and creating a nurturing, safe learning environment for students.
Due to the important role that teaching assistants play, the interview process for hiring new staff for this position can be a daunting process.
This article will share 11 common interview questions for teaching assistants, along with the information that the interviewer is hoping to hear.
1. What are your career aspirations/goals?
This is one of the most important teaching assistant interview questions, and will show the interviewer that you have put thought into a long-term commitment to the. industry.
The interviewers might ask this question in a different way e.g he/she might ask “where do you see yourself in 5 years time?“.
2. Why did you leave your last job?
The interviewer will be looking for any negatives surrounding the completion of your last contract or termination. Focus on positives, such as seeking new challenges or being attracted by the good reputation of the school.
This is one of the most common interview questions you'll face in any type of interview, so make sure you have a few why did you leave your last job answers ready and waiting.
3. Why do you want to work for our school?
This question provides an important opportunity to praise the school and show that you have done some research to find out unique points that attracted you to the job.
You can speak about positive word-of-mouth in the local community, attractive work environment and any positive points that you discovered in the preliminary interview research stage. Here are a few why do you want to work at this school example answers.
4. What is the role of a teaching assistant?
The interviewer wants to see if you understand the role of a teaching assistant. In addition to the main duties performed, mention other duties such as creating a supportive environment, encouraging children to grow and being a positive role model.
5. What qualities do you possess that make you a great teaching assistant?
The interviewer is interested to see if you have any extra skills that will be an asset to the school. If you have musical ability, are artistic or have any other skills – bring them up now.
6. How do you deal with disruptive or disobedient students?
This is another one of the key interview questions for teaching assistants. Classroom management is a key component of any teaching assistant role, and the interviewer wants to see if you have experience, and how you dealt with the situation.
Try to include a positive result in the example.
7. Tell us about a time when you encouraged a student and it had a positive result?
Again, this is another one of the most important interview questions for teaching assistants. The role often involves providing personalised support for students experiencing difficulty, and the interviewer will be keen to hear about your experience in this situation.
8. How would you support a student with reading difficulties?
Another performance-based question that will show the interviewer if you have any real-life experience dealing with learning difficulties, and how confidently you dealt with them.
9. How do you deal with conflict in the workplace?
The interviewer will want to learn about your conflict resolution skills, as well as get a general idea of your personality in regard to social interaction. A happy workplace is a productive workplace, and the interviewer will be looking for a confident, well-adjusted individual.
10. What have you done recently to improve your teacher assistant skills?
Many teaching assistant interview questions will give you the chance to promote yourself, and this one is the perfect opportunity to mention any teaching assistant courses, extra training or volunteer work that you have done in the last year or two.
They will want to see your engagement with the industry and any specialised areas that you may be interested in.
Related: Why did you apply for this job?
11. Do you have any questions that you would like to ask?
This question can be a little awkward if you are unprepared. Prepare a few questions to ask at the end of your TA interview beforehand, and remember to ask about further training options. This will show you are proactive.
While it may be impossible to predict the exact questions the interviewer will have planned for you, these are among the most common interview questions you’re likely to face at a teaching assistant interview.
Also, because of the nature of the job, you should be prepared to answer a few safeguarding interview questions. Good luck with your interview.